NSW records 35 new local virus cases

NSW has recorded 35 new local COVID-19 cases, including two more aged care residents in a northwest Sydney nursing home and a student at an eastern Sydney primary school.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says 11 of the 35 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday were out in the community during part or all of their infectious period while 24 were in isolation for the entire period they were infectious.

“NSW Health is obviously more concerned with the cases that were in the community during their infectious period for the entire time that we understand they were infectious,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Monday.

“That is what health will be monitoring in the next few days.”

“I know everybody is keen to know what is going to happen beyond Friday’s lockdown, as am I, but what I can tell you with certainty is that the next couple of days will be absolutely critical,” she said.

There have now been 312 local COVID-19 cases since June 16, when the Bondi cluster first emerged.

Among the new cases announced on Monday were two additional cases at SummitCare Baulkham Hills, both women in their 70s, one of whom was not vaccinated.

There were also five new cases connected to flight VA524 from Gold Coast to Sydney, on which an infected air crew member worked, and a student at Rose Bay Public School in Sydney’s east was also dianosed with the virus.

Staff and students – who are on school holidays – have been told to self-isolate until they receive further advice, with school due to resume on Tuesday next week.

Kathie Melocco, whose parents Allan and Lona Patrick live at SummitCare at Baulkham Hills, is angry her 88-year-old father is one of an initial three residents who contracted the virus from an unvaccinated carer.

She said SummitCare sent an email to families on Sunday night informing them a further two residents had tested positive to the virus, taking the tally to five.

The email said the residents were comfortable and asymptomatic but were being transferred to Westmead Hospital as a precaution.

Ms Melocco said families weren’t told that two thirds of the carers at the home had not been vaccinated.

“Dad was vaccinated and after all the trouble we’ve had in aged care (we assumed) that the jab was given to staff at the same time,” she told Sydney radio 2GB.

“No one told us they weren’t vaccinated and as a family we have right to know.

“In aged care, it’s one of the most dangerous places in Australia.”

Last week, national cabinet agreed all aged care facility workers must be vaccinated, with everyone to get at least one jab by September.

SummitCare chief operating officer Michelle Sloane said on Sunday a third of the facility’s workforce have had a shot, after two of the home’s workers tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Council of Aging Chief Executive Ian Yates said the vaccine rollout to aged care workers had been too slow and he had been “very concerned about this for a long time”.

“We have basically got all homes covered, the vast majority of residents covered, but the way that COVID has entered aged care in the past has always been through asymptomatic staff,” he told the Nine Network on Monday.

“They need to speed up the vaccination of staff everywhere.”

Meanwhile, NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys has warned cafe owners who defy health orders requiring staff and customers to wear masks their businesses could be closed down, saying “there is simply no room for that in these times”.

The owner of The Organic Store in Bowral in the Southern Highlands was arrested for a second time on Saturday after staff and customers refused to wear masks.

NSW Health has issued another ten COVID alerts for venues across Sydney including a Coles in Maroubra and a Woolworths in Hillsdale, both in Sydney’s east.

Alerts have also been issued for numerous bus and train routes around Sydney.

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